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16 yo moving to new secondary for A-levels

(12 Posts)
MrsFriskers Tue 28-Jun-11 13:31:18

As background, my DD1 has just completed her GCSE's at a school with unusually small class sizes.

For her A-levels she has applied to the large, but local secondary. Today, she has gone on her own to their 'taster' day with other new students, and is feeling very lost and sad. She texted me to ask her to come and get her (I haven't and won't). She also now thinks she should have applied to the FE college, 12 miles by bus away. Unfortunately, I suspect she would feel exactly the same there too. She is naturally introverted/shy and I now feel quite bad about not addressing this earlier.

I don't know what to say or do to help her through the transition (whichever place she ends up). I would appreciate any advice on how I can encourage her. Thank you.

senua Tue 28-Jun-11 13:59:49

It is a typical teenager reaction to think "I am the only one that ...<insert numerous teenage insecurities here>". There are two solutions to this: either she does know people already but didn't see them at taster day or she knows no-one and needs to make friends.

Is she on FB? Can she find out from there a friend or friend-of-friend who will also being going to the new school. Seing as it's a local school, does she already know people (but doesn't know that she knows them) through guides or sports clubs or whatever?

What will she be doing outside of the classroom to make friends in September? DD found that doing Duke of Edinburgh was a good way to bond. There is nothing like a bit of mud adversity to make people stick together. (not literally!grin)

MrsFriskers Tue 28-Jun-11 14:48:06

Thank you Senua, you have restored perspective smile She will know some people I'm sure, that she was friends with at primary who went straight to this secondary, and she keeps tabs on via FB. I will suggest she lets them know she's back in their midst.
I have spoken to her, and she has perked up (she enjoyed her Physics lesson, as there weren't many people in that one) and we will have a proper discussion when I get home later.
Thanks for the good idea re DoE.

senua Tue 28-Jun-11 15:09:38

"I have spoken to her, and she has perked up"

Teenagers! <rolls eyes> Doncha just love 'em.grin
Glad to hear it had a happy ending.

Loshad Tue 28-Jun-11 21:29:31

MrsF, the sixth form at the school i work at has quite a large intake from other schools, and often they don't know anyone else when they start. Induction day is always hard for them, but with a week or two of starting in september they are nearly always all happily settled, and have loads of new friends, as well as their exisiting ones. Glad your dd perked up later.

ellisbell Tue 28-Jun-11 22:15:18

I have known several students who have done this and it seems to work very well. Teenagers are usually very interested in new people and rather kinder to them than the ones they have known for years. Encourage her to get back in touch with anyone she used to know and offer to have a sleepover the first month of term for new friends.

MrsFriskers Tue 28-Jun-11 22:29:22

Thank you all for the reassurance, and I will definitely pass on your experience and good ideas.

TheCoolWeb Fri 01-Jul-11 08:58:16

Personally I found it rather liberating to go to a new school for A Levels where only a handful (literally) of people knew me. You get to redfine your personality (within reason) as friends and teachers don't have entrenched views about you. I found it much easier to stop being the most sensible, well-behaved, person-you-can-go-to-to-ask-for-a-tissue type - there were so many other people that I was relieved to find some were much more like that than I was. I hope she really enjoys it.

mummytime Mon 04-Jul-11 07:41:03

I have a friend whose daughter was moved to a private school during year 9 because of various issues including low level bullying. In the end for various reasons (including financial and the courses on offer) she moved back to her original school for sixth form; and is now flourishing.

I also have another friend whose 18 year old texted her on her gap year from Italy saying that it was all awful an she was sure she was going to be murdered. She then didn't text or phone for 3 days as she found some others to hang out with, and was having too much fun.

Try not to worry too much, if she goes to university she will be in huge classes and probably not know anyone, so this is good practise.

Good luck!

Goblinchild Mon 04-Jul-11 07:48:10

You could flag her up to the pastoral team at the secondary as someone to keep an eye on and support.

Kez100 Mon 04-Jul-11 08:04:06

Our school is small and everyone leaves in this way and go to lots of different places. I think it's good. A step towards independence and a very large choice of courses.

I also went to college myself umpteen years ago and my three mates stayed in 6th form. They all left to do jobs before they took A levels, whereas I flourished in a setting different from school where they treated me as an adult. I continued education to professional level.

Hopefully she will settle quickly and flourish. I'm sure having picked the right courses for her will help a great deal.

badgerhead Mon 04-Jul-11 18:01:54

My dd was similar in September last year. She left her secondary school and most of her friends went to the local 6th Form College, however she decided to go to another 6th form attached to a large secondary school in a different town to where we live. The first week was a bit wobbly but now she is thriving & has been given the responsibility of shared senior librarian for her year 13. She was the only one to go to this 6th form from her school that year although this coming September there is a cohort of them coming into year 12.

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